With the COVID-19 pandemic apparently nearing its end in the U.S., more people are returning to in-person work. That means more people are applying for jobs, submitting applications left and right, looking for the right fit.
In most cases, job applications require a plethora of personal information when being filled out, including addresses, work history, Social Security numbers and more. This opens up several opportunities for applicants to be scammed out of their information.
Online job applications are a necessary part of nearly any job hunt, so what can you do to keep your information secure and make sure that where you’re applying is legitimate? Let’s dive in.
What to look out for when applying
There are a few red flags to keep an eye out for when applying for jobs online.
Malicious job posts
Before putting in an application, take the time to research the company or recruiting firm who posted the job. If you’re struggling to find more information about them, it’s likely it isn’t real and the post is a ploy to steal personal information.
Never share more information than you need to in job applications.
Be mindful of the information you share
When putting in applications, never share more than you need to. It’s common to have to submit a resume and sometimes a cover letter, along with your contact information. It’s not common, however, for an application to ask for your social security number or financial information.
Some people tend to insert more personal information than necessary onto their resume. Your full address doesn’t need to be on display, as virtually anyone can get ahold of your resume on a job board site. Potential employers shouldn’t need to know anything beyond the city you’re located in, along with your email. They’ll contact you if they need further information to proceed with the interview process.
Watch out for sketchy emails
While job hunting, you’ll likely create a profile on several different job board sites. These sites can send a seemingly endless amount of emails to your inbox letting you know about the latest job postings for a particular position you’ve been searching for.
You may even begin to receive emails from recruiters directly. Be especially careful around them. Some of them may claim you’re a great fit for a position you’re not qualified for, or they may be poorly written. The job description could read awkwardly, with misspelled words and missing punctuation. If this is the case, avoid replying to these emails as they may be trying to steal your identity.
Keep your information private
Job hunting is hard work, so you don’t want to have the worry of having your information stolen on top of everything else. If at any point you feel unsure about sharing your information, whether on a job site or over email, it’s best to err on the side of caution to avoid any headaches in the future.